Want to learn – Need guidance
Recently bought property in South Carolina and would like to learn about beekeeping. I have about 7 acres and my primary purpose for learning is pollination of 1 acre veggie garden.
Good for you! It is an adventure into a new world. Very few species allow us to be as intimately involved in their culture, the more you learn, the more you will want to know.
Your bet shot is to find a beekeeper close to you or find a club. Take a look in a hive first to see if it your thing. It can be a bit intimidating the first couple of times you go through the hive, a mentor sure makes it easier.
Read, read, read, there is a lot to know, and these days there is a lot that can go wrong. I advocate organic beekeeping without mite treatments and antibiotics. One of my favorite authors is Michael Bush, he has a bunch of books out and he has a GREAT website that contains most of the info that is in his books. He can be found at http://www.bushfarms.com/bees
If you are interested in top bar beekeeping, Les Crowder has a great book called of all things "Top-Bar Beekeeping". I have both top bar and Langstroth but find myself gravitating more towards top bar. There is another gentleman on this site that has chosen to go with Warre, check them out too!
Many of the beekeepers where I live are going with feral genetics, capturing and keeping wild colonies. There is some pretty good evidence that they are more resistant to mites than many of the domestic strains that are available. If you can loose the mites, you loose many of the diseases as well.
Post often about what you are reading and learning! And welcome to the brother and sisterhood.
Thanks for the reply and encouragement. From what I've read so far I'm gravitating toward top bar. More research underway. Will keep you posted.